TOKYO: A Japanese university student tells a machine she wants to eat chocolate and moments later a transparent film with liquid droplets slides out on top of a screen showing luscious gooey chocolate.
The video shared by the Reuters is a demonstration of a prototype lickable TV screen that can imitate food flavours which its creator hopes will be another step towards creating a multi-sensory viewing experience.
“Taste the TV (TTTV)” is being developed by Meiji University professor Homei Miyashita, who uses a carousel of 10 flavour canisters that spray in combination to create the taste of a particular food.
According to Miyashita, the flavours of all types of food can broke down to 10 basic tastes, such as salty, sour, sweet, bitter, spicy and savoury. The machine is programmed with “recipes” that allows it to create the taste of 20 types of food samples.
In the COVID-19 era, this kind of technology can enhance the way people connect and interact with the outside world, said Miyashita.
“We couldn’t taste the food in restaurants which are far away when we stayed at home, ” he said. “I wanted to somehow make this (tasting food) a reality, so that people can experience various tastes (of food) which are far away while staying at home.”
Miyashita works with a team of about 30 students that has produced a variety of flavour-related devices, including a fork that makes food taste richer. He said he built the TTTV prototype himself over the past year and that a commercial version would cost about 100,000 yen ($875) to make.
“I am thinking of making a platform where tastes from all over the world can be distributed as ‘taste content’. It’s the same as watching a movie or listening to a song that you like. I hope people can, in the future, download and enjoy the flavours of the food from the restaurants they fancy, regardless of where they are based in the future,” said Miyashita.
Potential applications include distance learning for sommeliers and cooks, and tasting games and quizzes, he said.
Miyashita has also been in talks with companies about using his flavour-spray technology for applications like a device that can apply pizza or chocolate taste to a slice of toasted bread.
Twitter reacts to TTTV
Concerned about Hygiene, COVID-19, and research budgets going into “absurd” ideas, the TTTV remained a top Twitter trend on Friday. (Int’l Monitoring Desk)